|Dinosaurs in Their Time
DinoGuide: Protoceratops andrewsii
remains of this early horned dinosaur were first discovered in Mongolia
in the 1920s. Since then, hundreds of skulls and skeletons of Protoceratops,
ranging from hatchlings to adult males and females, have been collected.
Although hornless, Protoceratops shared with later horned dinosaurs such as Triceratops a distinct bump above the nostrils and a large
bony frill that extended over the neck. Thickened areas of bone
just above the eye sockets reflect the locations where horns would
appear in later horned dinosaur species. Strong cheek muscles prevented
food from escaping the mouth during feeding.
Protoceratops is also known for the many nests of its eggs which have been discovered
in Mongolia. These nests included specimens of
many ages, including babies that had not yet hatched. However, some
eggs originally thought to be those of Protoceratops are
actually those of other kinds of dinosaur.
The andrewsi in Protoceratops' name was bestowed in honor of American
explorer Roy Chapman Andrews.
CARNEGIE SPECIMEN NUMBER:
SCIENTIFIC NAME MEANING:
"Andrew's early horned face"
Dinosauria : Ornithischia : Ceratopsia : Protoceratopsidae
to 6 feet (1.8 meters)
FORMATION & LOCALITY:
Djadokhta Formation; Bayn Dzak (formerly Flaming Cliffs), Mongolia
American Museum of Natural History expedition, 1925
Late Cretaceous, 70–75 million years ago
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